Photos by Seze Devres /
No Way Back At The Bunker with Cheap & Deep, Ectomorph, Keith Fullerton Whitman, Mountains, Outer Space, More photo gallery
Line-up /Cheap And Deep Productions, Ectomorph, Keith Fullerton Whitman, Mountains, Outer Space, Bee Mask, Ricardo Donoso , Container, BMG, Erika, Patrick Russell, Spinoza, Nihal Ramchandani
Launched in a leaking warehouse somewhere deep in Detroit in 2007, Interdimensional Transmissions' No Way Back has become one of our favorite parties in the world. We love it so much that we jumped on board to co-produce the two most recent editions during DEMF, and brought the entire party to Brooklyn for an edition of The Bunker in November of last year. Since The Bunker and IT share the same core crew of DJs, and have such similar taste in, well, almost everything, it only makes sense that we're teaming up to throw No Way Back once again. Instead of booking the most hyped flavor of the month DJs, No Way Back focuses on the best that Detroit and Brooklyn have to offer.
Bringing the event to Public Assembly offers a unique challenge: just what to do with a second room with a full soundsystem in place. No Way Back has always been a single soundsystem event with a controlled environment and we didn't want to have two competing rooms of dance music. After much debate, we decided to get deep and weird with it, and offer you an experimental chillout room. This will not be a space to hear the cliche "chill out" sounds of early 90's rave, but rather to listen to relevant artists pushing the boundaries of what's happening right here and now, presented a bit outside of it's normal performance context. The chillout room disappeared from electronic music events a long time ago, but there are more artists than ever producing deep space head music, and it's pretty much what we listen to all day at The Bunker headquarters.
Raw, humid, dubby, mysterious – when Cheap and Deep’s Jay Patrick Ahern goes to work on tracks, those are usually the characteristics that are going to define the end results. Born in 2009 while Jay was working at the Hard Wax shop in Berlin, Cheap and Deep is only the latest in a long line of aliases for Ahern, who has spent nearly two decades floating under the surface as a quintessential producer’s producer. With a catalogue dating back to 1992, when Ahern began releasing mixes by Carl Craig, Morgan Geist, Deep Dish and his own Aquarhythms project, by the late 90's the singles became cult classics and were reissued on the Astralwerks label. Later, Jay reappeared with the Earsugar and Handwerk labels while releasing his own music under the "Add Noise" moniker. Jay also has collaborated with Stefan Schneider (Mapstation, To Rococo Rot) as the mesmerizing "Hauntologists" with Robert Henke (Monolake) as "Termulator X" and most recently launched a new musical adventure with Jonah Sharp (Spacetime Continuum) which premiered at this year's CMKY festival. But it is his Cheap and Deep alias that sees the veteran producer working on the cutting edges of techno once again.
Ectomorph occupy an unique and strange place within Detroit Techno history. Founded in 1994 as a reaction to DBX, Basic Channel, Rob Hood, Sahko and Drexciya, they released their first singles in 1995 as an attempt to make Detroit music for Detroit itself, not exclusively for export. The mystique of their early singles led to mythic status and a strong underground cult following, which they have continued to develop through releases on their own Interdimensional Transmissions label as well as remixes on many high profile labels and projects like "Shari Vari" and the Dirtbombs. BMG has also worked in audio engineering and production ranging from mastering the first Ghostly projects to producing Wolf Eyes' Sub Pop albums. To hone their vision, they began throwing parties in Detroit culminating in the No Way Back party series. No Way Back began as a 12 hour party (that lasted 17 hours) with 4 DJs in a destroyed bank with a leaky roof at the end of 2007. Reclaimed old spaces are crucial elements of the party system, transformed with installations of amorphous lighted structures and abstract spray paint art completed with major audiophile sound systems. Harkening back to the core of what made our early and mid 90s halcyon days so incredible, but reducing it to its core essence and pushing that concept into the future was our initial motivation. From these open minded events Ectomorph have crafted a new vision. With this vision, they have relaunched Interdimensional Transmissions with a fresh sound and new collaborations. For their live debut at The Bunker, BMG & Erika will be performing with beautiful illuminated analog equipment fully integrated with their Apple products.
BMG, also known as Brendan M. Gillen, has a very unique and interesting perspective on the history of dance music. A real historian, he's the kind of guy who can talk endlessly about pretty much any artist you can think of and offer new information and insights, no matter how nerdy you thought you were about the subject. He is perhaps most well known as one half of Ectomorph and founder of Detroit's Interdimensional Transmissions imprint. He was an early adopter of Ableton Live, and uses it in his DJ sets to quickly mix between classic material and newer sounds, leaving no genre untouched while getting deeply psychedelic in the mix.
A sci-fi extra, geek music freak, one-half of Ectomorph and co-conspirator of Detroit's Interdimensional Transmissions, Erika is also a DJ and runs the freeform radio internet radio station, erika.net. From 1993 through 1999, Erika was very involved in WCBN in Ann Arbor, working her way up from enthusiastic young DJ to general manager. In 1996 she was handed a TR-606 and asked to join Ectomorph. She's since become an electronic musician of the highest order, focusing on synthesis over sampling. Needless to say, Erika is a music geek of the highest order, and we're thrilled to have her play a special opening set at The Bunker.
Patrick Russell is a serious name to watch. A Detroit-bred DJ, artist and producer since the early 90's, Patrick has played countless clubs, parties, and high-profile events throughout his career. His resume highlights include everything from performing at the 2001 & 2008 DEMF/Movement festivals to an exclusive opening for Jeff Mills in Detroit in 2007. His taste has always been impeccable and his sets just get better and better as time progresses. And fans in Detroit and beyond are taking notice, as many of them are singing the praises of his artistry very loudly these days. Patrick's past three sets at The Bunker have all been nothing less than incredible, and we're very excited to hear what he brings to the table tonight.
Keith Fullerton Whitman has recorded and released music under a number of pseudonyms, most notably Hrvatski. For the past seven years or so, he has laid the Hrvatski project to rest and released many droney hypnotic albums under his own name on Kranky and other fine labels. The past two years have seen a ton of new recordings appear from Keith, and he has FOUR albums coming out soon on Kranky. Keith never really does the same performance twice, taking full advantage of different sonic environments to make something completely new each time he plays.
Mountains is Brendon Anderegg and Koen Holtkamp, two sonic explorers whose long history, shared philosophies, and love of sculpting sound, has resulted in some of the most densely layered and blissful music crafted in recent memory. The duo is known for obscuring the boundaries between acoustic instrumentation and electronics. We have been long time fans of Mountains, but they really took things up a few notches with their Air Museum album on Thrill Jockey this year. It is definitely their most electronic work to date, while still maintaining a very live sound.
John Elliott is definitely most well known as 1/3 of Emeralds, but his solo work as Outer Space and Imaginary Softwoods is just as interesting, if not more so. His raging live shows place him amongst our favorite electronic performers, and his deep space solo synth records are hard to beat. After five years of running his own label, Wagon, he launched Spectrum Spools as a sublabel of the infamous Editions Mego in 2011. Each of the first eight Spools releases is totally essential. Curated by John himself, and produced with the highest attention to quality pressings and artwork, these have been some of the most enjoyable vinyl releases of the year for us. Two of John's Spectrum Spools artists, Bee Mask and Container, will also be joining the bill tonight.
Bee Mask is Philadelphia's Chris Madek. He has released a mind boggling number of cd-r's, cassettes and LPs over the past five years. Spectrum Spools has done a great job of making sense of all this, by reissuing one of his strongest works, Canzoni Dal Laboratorio Del Silenzio Cosmico, and a Bee Mask selected compilation drawing from his immense back catalog, Elegy For Beach Friday. Both serve as wonderful introductions to his work. Straying from the status quo of improvised "one take" synthesizer music flooding the underground electronic community today, Bee Mask creates elaborate and captivating work, a soundtrack to an event shrouded in mystery and beauty, at once larger than life in it's grandeur and cryptic in its reserve. We saw Bee Mask perform an all too short yet extremely amusing live set in Brooklyn recently, and can't wait to hear what he has in store for The Bunker.
We have to admit we were a bit skeptical when we first read the press release for Ricardo Donoso's new album on Digitalis. Here was an artist known for making noise and avant metal (and doing it well) as part of Ehnahre and Perispirit, who had "realized that he wanted to make a record that explored his interest in techno and more specifically old goa and scandinavian trance. The idea was to strip out the four-to-the-floor beats and any other drum programming and create his own version of the 'morning dance music' he grew up with in the brazilian rave scene." It turns out that this is one of the most beautiful and interesting albums of the year, and we immediately asked Ricardo to perform at The Bunker after one listen.
Container is a recent moniker of Nashville, Tennessee resident Ren Schofield who's been actively shifting about the U.S. playing shows and releasing cassettes on his mysterious I Just Live Here imprint for a long while now. Known primarily for his God Willing project, a disjointed, confusing, maze of crude oscillator, tape, and guitar, Ren has established himself as a staple in the east coast underground. His most recent release as Container on Spectrum Spools is a new experiment in electronic beat oriented music. This is no standard fare, however. It glows with a vision all it's own, completely isolated and separate making it difficult to place in the awkward world of the "genre".
Bryan Kasenic (aka Spinoza) is known in the electronic music world for throwing many successful parties, playing adventurous DJ sets, launching an influential newsletter, and starting Beyond, his own booking agency. The past few years have seen Spinoza take his infamous Brooklyn-based party, The Bunker, to Unsound Festival in Krakow, Communikey Festival in Boulder, Decibel Festival in Seattle, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Philadelphia, and of course Detroit. The Bunker celebrated it's eight anniversary in January.
Following a crash course in music taught by his older brother, Nihal Ramchandani got his turntables at the tender age of 13 so perhaps it’s not so surprising that music already runs deep in the veins of this young Texan. Already established in Houston's Techno scene by age 17, Nihal arrived in NYC, immediately getting mixed up in the Halcyon crew. Now two years of seasoning later, this young phenom has proven himself capable of stringing together deeper psychedelic strains of electronic music with a veteran sensibility. He continues to hone his craft and explore new territories while focusing on his internship with the NYC arm of Scuba's Hotflush Recordings.